22 October 2012

Bastardised Mandarin

I didn't notice this until recently when I took a subway train and a public bus in quick succession before I notice the difference.

One think I like about the buses here is that they have PA announcements then next impending stop. LED ticker tape screen aren't effective when the bus is packed with people and you can hardly see across the bus, let alone read the screen for information on the next time.

Hence, the PA announcement on the bus.

Here. Take a listen to one of a subway announcement and the other of bus.

--> Public Bus Announcement

--> Subway Train Announcement

You would have noticed that, when it comes to the English announcement, the name of the destination in the public bus announcement was pronounced accurately.

The subway one is a totally different story. The pronounciation of the destination name in the subway station was altered such that the Mandarin name has a slight English twang. Reminds me of the bad dubbing of the 80s Hong Kong movies where the Gweilo actors speak in the weird accent to show that they are foreigners.

I mean why is there a need to bastardise our Mandarin name just to suit our English-speaking visitors? Can they not make an effort to learn the proper names of the place that they are visiting? Why should we bend over backwards for these folks? You don't see us mispronouce Mallorca as Mer-loker or Quebec as qway-beck, do you?

So, if we were to make the effort to get other people's names right, I think we deserve the reciprocity that our visitors make the effort and learn to get our names right too.

However, it is not to say that our visitors aren't doing so but the fact that whoever is in charge of the subway PA annoucements is not helping at all.

Image Credit:;

- Voxeros

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